Skip to content

I'm a Virus Expert and You're Most Likely to Catch COVID Here Now

10 places to visit with caution.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

As COVID treks into its third (!) year, the combination of contagious variants and inadequately vaccinated populations leads to thousands of new COVID infections every day. In this slideshow, Dr. Soumi Eachempati, former professor of surgery and public health at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Co-founder of Cleared4, a COVID safety platform, details 10 places where COVID is likely to be transmitted and why they should be visited with caution. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Nightclubs, Parties and Bars

3 men singing karaoke in the bar.

Going out late is back and in full swing! Unfortunately, late nights, alcohol, and socialization can lead to poor distancing, no masking, and a lack of COVID-19 awareness.  As new variants emerge and immunity drops, superspreader events follow. We saw this demonstrated in 2021 in Provincetown, MA, during July 4 celebrations.


Restaurants, Coffee Shops and Cafeterias

snacking and drinking

Many of these eating establishments lead to many individuals in closed spaces for long periods of time. Inadequate ventilation and lines for food lead to COVID-19 cases.


Gyms, Yoga Studios, and Workout Classes

multiracial group of 20 or 30-something adults on bikes in an indoor cycling class
Shutterstock / vectorfusionart

As we pay more attention to personal activity, our guard is let down to the continued risk of COVID-19. Additionally, tighter quarters and heavier and faster breathing with more vigor and open mouths lead to more propulsive aerosolization to others in the same space.


Transportation Hubs (Subways, Bus Terminals, Airports)

woman sitting inside airplane wearing KN95 FFP2 protective mask

Areas for travel are major risks for COVID-19 spreading. People carry luggage and packages, breathe heavier, and may not be masking. Additionally, queues for boarding and disembarking in closed quarters with impatient people ready to move to the next destination lead to more risk.


Stadiums for Concerts and Sporting Events

Girl enjoying the outdoor music festival concert. -

Big events are also back!  However, yelling and cheering with many people in tighter settings (especially indoors) lead to aerosolization without masking.


Grocery Stores and Public Markets

grocery shopping

People walking indoors distracted by food and children lead to a lack of distancing and tight breathing in close proximities. In some areas, these types of shopping areas are particularly at risk due to large crowds with little space (think The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul).


Taxicabs and Ubers (Especially Shared)

male taxi driver wearing face protective medical mask driving car with passenger

Sharing cars with friends and families will also lead to closer breathing than many would have in other circumstances. With strangers and drivers (who have inordinately large numbers of exposures), the risk goes to another level.

RELATED: If You Notice This on Your Body, Have Your Arms Checked


Hangout Areas (Lounges, Dorm Rooms, and Other Shared Spaces)

Harvard University campus

Being back in college is great for those who have missed out on the campus life. Unfortunately, being young, social, and seemingly invulnerable leads to a lot of contact indoors without a great deal of caution.

RELATED: Doctors Warn About These COVID Symptoms



Young chinese woman standing in elevator in medical mask. Doors are closing. Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic concept.

During the height of the pandemic, many people avoided elevators or stayed away from the office. Unfortunately, with reopening coming back and mask regulations absent, elevators have become more populated again and they haven't been built any bigger.

RELATED: I'm a Doctor and This is the #1 Sign You Have High Blood Sugar


Cruise Lines


Multiple mass COVID-19 events were noted on ships during the pandemic. As the cruise industry comes back to life with throngs of people besieged with pandemic fatigue, more events are likely to follow. Though they may pale in numbers of cases compared to earlier times, the sheer numbers of people on a single ship with countless tight spaces, buffet queues, and a plethora of socialization opportunities make this industry perhaps the riskiest place to get COVID-19. And to ensure your health don't miss these 101 Health Habits You Didn't Know Were Deadly.

Dr. Soumi Eachempati
Dr. Soumi Eachempati is a former Professor of Surgery and Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College and was also the Director of both the Surgical ICU as well as Trauma at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Center. He also received an appointment in the Division of Public Health. Dr. Eachempati is a Co-Founder and CEO of Cleared4Work. Read more about Dr. Soumi